Rebecca Kragnes | Upstream a Time of Transcendence

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rebeccak.com

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United States - Minnesota

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New Age: New Age Easy Listening: Mood Music Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Upstream a Time of Transcendence

by Rebecca Kragnes

This music can best be described as acoustic New Age.
Genre: New Age: New Age
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Time Piece
2:42 album only
clip
2. Kiss From a Rose
5:10 album only
clip
3. Innocence
3:15 album only
clip
4. Facing the Music
4:07 album only
clip
5. Memories of First Love
4:38 album only
clip
6. God Bless the World
4:17 album only
clip
7. Upstream
4:38 album only
clip
8. Entreaty
3:16 album only
clip
9. Winds of Change
4:22 album only
clip
10. Waiting
4:37 album only
clip
11. Humor
3:52 album only
clip
12. Consolation
4:55 album only
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13. Calling
4:14 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Rebecca Kragnes was born the middle of three daughters of Howard and Beth Rupp. Although her home was a farm in Northwestern Iowa, the majority of her childhood
was spent at the Iowa Braille & sight Saving School - the state school for the blind.

Rebecca's mom, Beth, enjoyed playing the family piano. At age three Rebecca began picking out a few of the chords she heard. Rebecca's maternal grandmother,
Mary Klein, was an extremely gifted keyboardist and played by ear. Young Rebecca enjoyed playing piano/organ duets with her.

Rebecca's formal piano training began when she was in the first grade. She continued to take lessons through college. Although she credits her teachers
with broadening her horizons, she enjoyed composing and playing her own work most of all.

During Junior High school, Rebecca returned to living at home and began attending public school. She played clarinet in band, sang in choir, and participated
in church music through junior high and high school. Rebecca, her older sister Jenny, and friends performed in a band called the "BLITZ". The band played
a combination of current pop and classic rock hits for dances and other school functions. The Rupp Sisters also performed as a vocal trio with Rebecca
accompanying on keyboards.

The Rupp home was filled with the sounds of music from the fifties and sixties, with the three sisters listening to their parents' old albums and 8-tracks
for hours. Growing up in the late seventies, eighties, and early nineties, Rebecca enjoyed the current pop of the time. She was especially drawn to black
singers like Stevie wonder, Michael Jackson, and Boyz II men.

In 1988, after hearing a few of her compositions, Rebecca's band director introduced her to New Age Music. Rebecca had been composing piano pieces for years
but didn't feel they fit any known genre. The music of Mannheim steamroller and David Lanz helped her discover her musical niche.

As an undergraduate, Rebecca worried about her prospects for a career in music and only pursued it as a minor. She graduated in 1994 as Salutatorian of
her Briar cliff college (BCC) class with a degree in Psychology. She completed her master's degree in community counseling at Mankato State University
(MSU) in 1996. During her studies at MSU, Rebecca was introduced to E-mail, which - coupled with a term paper on psychometric testing -lead her to meet
the man who was to become her future husband.

The year 1996 was significant in many ways. Rebecca received and trained with her first Seeing eye dog® Tanner. This was a particular triumph for her after
years of fearing dogs. Tanner and her fiancé Phil's Seeing eye dog Andy were at their sides during their wedding on august 17, 1996.

After two fruitless and frustrating years of pursuing a career in counseling, Rebecca's fortunes took an unexpected and positive turn when she met one of
her inspirations - pianist David Lanz. Rebecca was elated when David promised to critique a tape of her original compositions. David then assisted in financing
her recording sessions for Golden. As Executive Producer, David has been generous with his time and advice on Joyful Noel, Surrender, and Upstream.

In the fall of 2000, Rebecca lost Tanner to kidney disease. The four short years with Tanner had a profound impact on Rebecca's life. Although deeply saddened
by his death, she was happy she had dedicated Golden to him.

After three long wintry months of grief and waiting, a second Seeing eye dog® - a Golden Retriever named Shelly - came into Rebecca's life in February 2001.
Immediately Rebecca recognized similarities to Tanner and wondered if Shelly and he were related. Genealogy records showed they shared the same grandfather.

Shelly was the inspiration for the composition "Second Chance" on Rebecca's third album Surrender. Shelly was by her side during the recording of Rebecca's
second CD, a Christmas collection called Joyful Noel. In the fall of 2001, it became clear that Shelly no longer wanted to work as a guide. So, it was
off to Georgia to enjoy early retirement.

In February 2002, Rebecca was trained at home with her third Seeing Eye Dog® - a female Golden Retriever named Wynell. Wynell's energy and willingness to
work fostered a new growth of creativity in Rebecca. Rebecca's third album, Surrender, is a culmination of experiences from Tanner's death to her first
weeks with Wynell.

Rebecca continues to collect CD's by musicians of many genres. Her Christian faith and the quality of the music have recently attracted her to Christian
Contemporary music. Artists such as Ginny Owens, Mark Schultz, and Avalon are among her favorites. Naturally, her favorite current pop performers tend
to be pianists like Ben Folds, Vanessa Carlton, and Sarah McLachlan. Rebecca also loves to listen to other new age pianists. She has discovered and become
involved with a group of solo pianists called "
The Whisperings Community".
New Age favorites outside of the piano realm are David Arkenstone, Andraes Vollenweider, and Davol.

Although an introvert by nature, Rebecca is involved in her community. She plays for her church and volunteers to speak on blindness and related topics
for schools and organizations. She is an active member of the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota (ACBM) and Minnesota Guide Dog Users (MNGDU).
Rebecca serves on the Qwest Consumer Advisory Panel and the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind (S-RCB). Rebecca volunteers as Hotline coordinator
for a Golden Retriever rescue organization called
Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota
(RAGOM). She also enjoys reading and quietly socializing with friends. The internet has widened her social circle even more. Rebecca feels fulfilled by
her work, and hopes that her musical career will continue to grow.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

Her best album yet!
“Upstream” is Rebecca Kragnes’ fourth solo piano album to date, and this artist just keeps getting better. It has been a turbulent three years since Kragnes’ last recording, and the music from this new collection is sort of a musical journal, expressing and reflecting on many of the events of that period, giving them a mostly upbeat and positive spin. Kragnes has a very gentle and delicate playing style with most of her music, and quite a bit of it is played on the upper half of the piano, creating a lighthearted and sunny mood. David Lanz returns as Executive Producer, and his influence can be detected but isn’t obvious.

The opening track, “Time Piece,” is an interesting variation on the Westminster Chimes played on a clock given to the artist by her husband. That familiar little tune starts the piece, and then Kragnes develops it into a sweet composition that is light and airy. The only cover piece is Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose,” one of Kragnes’ favorite pop tunes from the ‘90s, and a lovely arrangement. “Facing the Music” is somewhat darker, and was written while reflecting on the shooting death of a young member of her church by gang members and how things that used to be other people’s concerns can affect us personally. “Memories of First Love” is also very reflective and gentle with a warm and loving mood - one of my favorites on this album. “God Bless The World” is a hymn asking God to bless the whole world rather than specific areas. Lyrics could fit very well, as the piece is very much an anthem. The title track was composed during the recovery period after being hit by a car and working her way through the pain in her shoulder. It is a joyful piece now, having finally arrived “upstream” - another favorite. I also really like “Winds of Change,” which has an infectious energy and a slightly mysterious feeling. Bigger and more powerful than most of the other tracks, this piece has a real passion about it. “Humor” is a dancing celebration of the healing power of laughter. Light and breezy, this is joy set to music. My favorite piece on this album is the closing track, “Calling,” which is a duet for piano and flute. Michael Malver’s flute brings an incredible emotional depth to this gorgeous piece, which was based on the “song” of church bells and was composed in a “call and response” style. The purity of this piece is stunning, and this is probably my favorite of all of Kragnes’ compositions so far.

“Upstream” was well worth the wait between albums! Recommended.
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Terry Nelson

Upstream is hauntingly beautiful
I recently discovered Whisperings Solo Piano Radio (solopianoradio.com). While listening there, a track was played that gave me Goose Bumps. It was so melodic and hauntingly beautiful. The track was Memories of First Love which appears on this CD. That track alone prompted my purchase and I was not disappointed. The entire CD is tender, thoughtful, and very moving. A nice way to relax and and unwind!
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Jo Suzuki

Thoughtful and moving composition that will fill you with pathos
I heard the Upstream track on Whisperings a few time. Then one morning, I woke up with the tune stuck on my head and had to find out the source of this impression. I went to Rebecca's site to sample other tracks and read her stories behind her music. I was immediately touched by them and decided to purchase the CD. I rarely respond to music in this way.

Her composition shows tenderness and delicacy, and has a remarkable story-telling quality. You can close your eyes [If you read her biographical sketch, you will know right away that she is blind.] and picture the scene that she portrays: you don't need to read the names of the tracks to guess what her pieces are representing. Her performance is precise, demonstrating her technical mastery. One thing that stood out to me was the deliberate pauses that she inserts in all her pieces. It shows that she is a deliberate, thoughtful person of deep emotion. A quality not come out of easy life of success, but born out of seasoned pathos. I enjoy her music very much.
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Ron Brooks

She just keeps getting better!
From the opening track, to the dying vibrations of the last notes, this CD is simply magnificent. Rebecca Kragnes uses mostly higher register melodies and full keyboard harmony to create beauty that is transcendant. I loved her version of "Kiss from a Rose," and have been finding myself whistling it ever since I listened to the CD for the first time a few days ago. Seal, watch out! Besides this great cover piece, I love Rebecca's original compositions, and I love the quality of the production! It's the best yet! I'm struck by the improvements from Golden (Rebecca's first CD) to Upstream. Golden was good, and it made me a fan. Upstream is in a whole different league--a better one, and I can only wonder what will be next! This is a stunning CD! Reader, you must buy and share it!
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Dean

Very Beautiful!
This CD is very beautiful. Rebecca always seems to have beautiful and catching melodies. While listening to Solo Piano Radio, I heard one of her songs, and I knew that I heard a song I must hear again. My favorites on her CD, are Upsream, Memories of First Love, and Waiting. Her songs have emotion that helps me capture her love for music and the great expression of it through the piano. I hope to hear more of her CD's.
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